It's time to start building each other up. What if instead of criticizing, comparing and judging, we got into the habit of complimenting, holding our heads high, owning who we are and lifting each other up? I've seen it all too often in my life and I'm not without blame. And, now that I have girls - I see it in their lives. And it breaks my heart. Why oh why? What if, collectively, we decided to stop the shaming and start uplifting? What if all of our words were like high-fives for the soul? For friends and strangers a like. Wouldn't that be powerful? Wouldn't that be beautiful? "I see you over there sister, rocking that outfit - own it, girl!" "You are an amazing mom. Keep it up! You've totally got this!" "I see you with your screaming child and I want you to know I've been there too. So many times. It's hard, isn't it? How can I help you?" "I notice you've been working out and eating healthy. Keep it up! You are such an inspiration! Have any recipes to share?" "I'm sorry your marriage ended. I care for you and want to be part of your support network. You will get through this. One day at a time. Want to come over for dinner?" "I love when you got up and spoke today at the meeting. What you said really impacted me. Keep up the great work." What if our first, last and all of the in-between words we shared with each other were intended to build up and not tear down? What if we stopped the whispering? And pointing? And eye-rolling? Can you imagine the impact this would have on us? Our husbands? Our daughters? Our sons? Because they hear us. They imitate us. Whether we want them to, or not. They do. Our words hold power. How we treat each other matters. The beautiful thing is, we have the power to stop the shaming and the judging. Stop judging ourselves. Our friends. Strangers. I believe this change starts with how we speak to ourselves. What does that little voice inside of your head say about you? Are you comfortable in our own skin? Do you recognize you are beautiful, unique, one-of-a-kind, a work of art made by God - never to be replicated, duplicated or remade? Do you know this? Know it. Own it. Walk with your head held high. Be confident in who God created you to be. See your gifts and talents and begin to look around for the gifts and talents He placed in others. Let's stop competing - and start collaborating. Let's stop wanting to be someone else, and instead be are grateful for who we are - and grateful for who they are. Let's learn from each other. I'm trying to teach this valuable lesson to my daughters. I am trying to teach them what a true friend is - and isn't. I'm trying to teach them that when people are unkind, it usually comes from a place of insecurity or jealousy. I'm trying to teach them how to love others well. How to give grace. How to forgive. And that sometimes, even though you've forgiven, there are some relationships that just aren't healthy. There are times when you have to walk away. And in attempting to teach these lessons to my daughters, I've had to take a long, hard look at myself. My own words. My own actions. I've realized if I want better for them, then it starts with me. How do I speak about others? About myself? Are my words kind? Do they build-up? Do they tear down? Ladies, it's time. Time to start building each other up. Time to start loving ourselves. Loving our neighbors. Treating each other the way we want to be treated. No more silent, unapproving stares. No more snickering behind someone's back. No more condescending remarks. No more comparisons. No more judgement. No more shame. No more of the breast fed vs. bottle fed. No more of the stay-at-home vs. working mom. No more of the I'm right and you're wrong. No more I'm better than you mentality. Because there is a whole lot of gray in this world. We have the freedom to make choices and just because I choose one way - doesn't mean another person's way isn't right. Because it's right for them. And their family. And really? We are all just trying our best, right? Let's hold our heads high. Let's share in each others joys and successes. Let's encourage one another. Let's compliment each other. Let's recognize each other's God-given gifts and talents. Let's give high-fives to each other's souls. It's time. Let's do this. This post originally appeared on the author's blog - https://www.trulyyoursjen.com Jennifer Thompson is a stay-at-home mom of four sweet and sometimes a bit wild children. Like most parents, her life is spent managing the chaos to the best of her ability—some days are more successful than others. Recently relocated from Indianapolis to Nashville, she and her family are on the hunt for the best hot chicken in town. Life is full of ups and downs, and she hopes the words she writes will be a source of encouragement. Jennifer enjoys writing about her parenting experience, life observations and love of decorating as a freelance writer, and keeps a personal blog at www.trulyyoursjen.com, where she has fun writing when time permits. You can find her on Instagram and follow her on Facebook.